Sandy-impacted homeowners still deciding whether to reopen their FEMA flood insurance claims can get free advice from experts at three community meetings being held this Saturday in Seaside Park, Ortley Beach, and Manasquan.


The grassroots group Stop FEMA Now organized the workshops, following a successful turnout at a seminar last month in Toms River.

Paul Jeffrey, President of the Ortley Beach Voters and Taxpayers Association said those with properties declared a total loss after the hurricane, like many of those in his community, could benefit the most if they had  coverage on the full value of the home, based on estimates from Stop FEMA Now founder George Kasimos.

"If they did not get $160 per square foot for that house that's a total loss, they should most definitely reopen their claim," said Jeffrey.

Jeffrey said that's because there isn't much to argue about if a home was deemed a total loss.

"The house is gone, so if they had a 1,000 square foot bungalow, and they didn't get $160,000 from their insurance company, when they were covered for that amount, they should most definitely reopen," said Jeffrey. He added, "Those are the people where we know some of them only got on the order of $70,000 or $80,000, so we're talking about an $80,000 additional payment they might get."

One of the biggest concerns most homeowners see to have is regarding duplication of benefits, according to Jeffrey. Some of those who received grants or other federal money, for rent or another place to live, are worried if they receive more money from their insurance company whether they'll have to repay it. He also said people just want to move on almost three years after the Super storm.

"People got some money from the insurance, they took some of their retirement money, they fixed up their house and they're done, and they really want to put Sandy and everything about it out of their mind, out of their lives. It's water over the dam, and I think a lot of people don't want to reopen the sores basically, and reopen the wound," said Jeffrey.

Saturday's workshops will take place 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Bum Rogers Crabhouse, 2207 Southwest Central Avenue, Seaside Park; Noon to 1 p.m., at the Moose Lodge, 1801 Bay Boulevard, Ortley; and 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Ocean Star Fuel Service Station, 65 Union Avenue/Route 71, Manasquan.

The sessions are free and open to anyone. Updates on FEMA Sandy claims will be provided, expert adjusters will discuss their experience with underpaid Sandy claims and homeowners and business owners will be able to ask questions.


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